Ryan Reynolds is reportedly in talks to star in Rainbow Six, an upcoming adaptation of Tom Clancy's bestselling 1998 novel. Over the years, the book has grown into a bonafide franchise, spawning a series of popular first-person shooter games. Plans to translate Rainbow Six to film have been floating around since at least 2004, with Face/Off director John Woo at one point attached to helm.
The story itself is centered around an ex-Navy Seal named John Clark, who originated in Clancy’s Jack Ryan novel series. He's named head of a global task force to combat terrorism - the titular Rainbow - which is quickly confronted with a number of international incidents that fast threaten worldwide safety.
Deadline reports loose discussions have taken place with Reynolds to develop the project, with him playing Clark. Rainbow Six comes as one in a string of new efforts from writer/producer Akiva Goldsmith (The Dark Tower, Transformers: The Last Knight), including directing a feature from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld’s comic creation Avengelyne, erecting a series of genre movies, and producing adaptations of two bestselling book series, Rainbow Six included. Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) are onboard to handle the Rainbow Six script.
The character of John Clark has appeared in Jack Ryan films before, first in 1994's Clear and Present Danger (played by Willem Dafoe) and then in 2002's The Sum of All Fears (played by Liev Schreiber). According to Deadline, the studio has tried in the past without avail to turn Clark into a franchise character, but now that Paramount has shifted the Jack Ryan properties to television for Amazon's John Krasinski-led TV series, there's room for Clark to edge onto the big screen. The expectation is that if Rainbow Six should be successful, it will be followed by origin tale Without Remorse.
It's an interesting concept, and one that could go in either direction. Both film and television are currently flooded with superhero-oriented narratives, so perhaps there is a vacancy for a real, grounded action hero like Clark. Still, there must be a reason it's taken so long to get the project up and running, and perhaps it's simply that the demand is not yet there. Landing Reynolds in the lead role after his monumental success with Deadpool would certainly be a promising step, but with Rainbow Six still in its beginning phases - there's no word yet on who might direct, who the cast may be outside of Reynolds, or when it would premiere - it's far too early to call.